ST. LOUIS – For two consecutive seasons, the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch were docked for months.
“Last year was COVID and the year before that was the 2019 flood, which we lost four months from. So, yeah, we would like to see good water levels this year,” said Robert Hopkins, director of operations for the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch.
With COVID-19 numbers falling riverboat business has stayed afloat, even amongst the annual threat of rising water levels.
“It’s very important if we want to do business. Flood stage is 30 feet here in St. Louis. We have two boats. One of our boats we have to stop running after a level of 26 feet, mainly because of horsepower on the vessel. The other we can run to about 31.5 feet,” Hopkins said.
The Mississippi River in St. Louis currently sits near 14 feet, but changes are near.
“We are looking at about a 7-foot jump the next three to four days in the river,” Hopkins said. “But it’s supposed to crest at 20.7 feet, so we are still good.”
With levels staying below stage there are no expected cancelations for the riverboats that run daily. Earlier in the season was not so lucky, with the cruise line having to shut down for two days in early April due to minor flooding.
Cruises run daily. Dinner cruises are available on Friday and Saturday evenings, along with a Sunday brunch cruise.